Villa Somalia

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Villa Somalia
File:Villa somalia.jpg
somali presidential palace
General information
Town or city Mogadishu
Country Somalia
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Current tenants Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of Somalia

Villa Somalia (Somali: Villa Soomaaliya, Arabic: فيلا الصومال‎‎) is a building in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. It serves as the official residential palace and principal workplace of the President of Somalia.


File:Villa Somalia.jpg
Villa Somalia in 1938

The edifice was built -in partially modern art deco style- by the colonial authorities in Italian Somaliland, serving as a residence for the Italian Governors.[1]

Villa Somalia (originally called Villa Vicereale when inaugurated in October 1936 [2]) sits on high ground that overlooks Mogadishu on the Indian Ocean, with access to both the harbour and airport. It was originally a large, squarish stucco building with a tiled roof.[3]

The edifice was built in the new section of the city created by the Italians in the late 1930s: it was a famous symbol of modernist "art deco" architecture. It was surrounded by the first athletic race track built in Somalia and by a modern pool for diving.

The story of Mogadishu’s Modernist buildings begins during the time of Italian colonial rule. Unlike Asmara in Eritrea and Tripoli in Libya, where the Italians built their colonial city alongside the native walled town, in Mogadishu the walls of the old medina were torn down and the occupiers’ buildings imposed in the city centre.....Another prominent building of the period is Villa Somalia, an Art Deco palace which served as the residence of the Italian is still in good condition today, thanks to the fact that it remained the seat of whoever was internationally recognised as the leader of Somalia, with all the security that entailed.Rakesh Ramchum [4]

Following independence in 1960, the building became the presidential palace of the President of the nascent Somali Republic.[3] After the start of the civil war and the overthrow of the Siad Barre administration in the early 1990s, various local faction leaders fought for control of and installed themselves in the residence. On 8 January 2007, Transitional Federal Government President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed entered Mogadishu for the first time since being elected to office. The government subsequently relocated to Villa Somalia from its interim location at Baidoa.[5]

File:Mogadishu 13 March 2010.png
Villa Somalia (and the area in yellow) inside metropolitan Mogadishu

As of January 2015, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud lives in and works out of Villa Somalia. The palace also hosts various Federal Government functions and events.[6] Villa Somalia was attacked in February 2014.

Actually one of the sections of modern metropolitan Mogadishu is called "Villa Somalia".

See also


  1. 1938 Foto, showing the athletic race track near the newly built Villa Somalia
  2. Video showing (in the second section) the inauguration of Villa Somalia in October 1936 in front of Somalian leaders from the Ogaden just united to Italian Somalia
  3. 3.0 3.1 Reports Service: Northeast Africa series, Volume 13, Issue 1. American Universities Field Staff. 1966.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Villa Somalia, an Italian era modernist building in Mogadishu
  5. "Somalia president visits Mogadishu after Ethiopian victory". Garowe Online. 8 January 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Somalia President, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud hosted dinner at Villa Somalia". Warsheekh. 7 September 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links